Jacqueline Van Dao
On February 11-13th, the 35th annual Black Engineer of the Year (BEYA) STEM conference was virtually held to recognize a record breaking 37 Leidos employees for their achievements, the largest in Leidos history. Among the Modern Day Technology Leader awardees was Leidos DSI’s Senior System Engineer, Darrell Valentine.
Darrell is an important contributor to our House of Representatives Program providing a wide range of engineering skills. His work supporting our Committee customers has been especially valuable to our team and our customers. – Howard Langston, Division Manager
Prior to Leidos, Darrell had spent 6 years serving our country before beginning his career in Information Technology. Darrell had previously worked for companies like Hewlett Packard and Microsoft before joining the Leidos DSI team in 2018.
Jackie: What does receiving this award mean to you?
Darrell: Receiving this award has made me better appreciate my management for seeing me in this light. Sometimes as engineers, we downplay our jobs and roles. But receiving this award means that my management sees the value of my work and that means a lot to me.
Jackie: Is there any aspect of your job that you are most passionate about?
Darrell: When something is broken. I enjoy reverse engineering the problem to try and figure out what went wrong. If you know the building blocks, you can figure it out. That part is what really drives me… sometimes drives me crazy, but it does drive me to do my job well.
As for advice for those pursuing a career in engineering, Darrell recommends taking advantage of any opportunities to further your education. “When I first started out, I was working with older individuals who were already experts in their specialty. I had to opportunity to attend and utilize all the trainings provided every year, which is what I think set myself up for my career while I was young and hungry. Continuing education is what’s going to help move you forward in this field.”
Congratulations Darrell for your outstanding performance!